1. Council Chair Greg Folley.tif

Council Chair Greg Folley, Water and Wastewater Utility Employee Fidencio Mireles Jr., and Florida Rural Water Association’s Steven Soltau.

Marco Island City Council made a special presentation to one of the city’s employees who received special recognition for completion of a special program developed by the Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) Apprenticeship Program. Completion of the program focuses on providing a pathway for drinking water and wastewater treatment plant operators to gain hands-on experience in treatment plant operation and management from various facilities throughout the State. This program is an approved Department of Labor Federally Registered Apprenticeship Program, which is overseen and recognized by the Florida Department of Education. 

Fidencio Mireles Jr. works at the City’s Reclaimed Water Production Facility and has completed the two-year FRWA Apprenticeship Program and graduated on December 17, 2022. FRWA Apprenticeship Trainer Steve Soltau presented the two-year Water and Wastewater Workforce Developmental/Apprentice Program certificate to Fidencio at the council meeting on January 9th.

The Florida Rural Water Association’s training program was created to increase and enhance Water Utility Operators and Workers. This program will help to provide water and wastewater utilities and develop additional skilled and trained employees through apprenticeship. 

Mr. Soltau explained that “apprenticeship” is a tried-and-true method of enhancing employees' skills and technical knowledge. The goal is to provide the future work force the technical training and “on-the-job learning” needed to become effective operators. ​

The Program is approved through the US Department of Labor and Florida Department of Education. New hires and current employees are eligible for the two-year program. Requirements include On The Job Training (OJT) that the system will supply and Related Technical Instruction (RTI) that will be roughly two days a month.

The program allowed Mr. Mireles the opportunity to obtain over 4,000 hours of “On-the-Job -Training” as well as another 250 hours of intensive classroom instruction. This enhanced training provides him with a skill set above what is required to be a treatment plant operator.


Steve Stefanides, is an experienced award-winning reporter of local civic and public interest news. Contact him by email at Stef@coastalbreezenews.com.

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